NCAA Tournament: Gonzaga gets 3 seed in loaded West Region

Mar 12, 2023, 4:04 PM | Updated: 7:55 pm
Gonzaga Anton Watson Drew Timme...
Anton Watson and Drew Timme of Gonzaga slap hands during a March 7, 2023 WCC Tournament game. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Gonzaga Bulldogs find themselves in a loaded section of the bracket in their 24th straight men’s basketball NCAA Tournament.

UW Huskies to bring back coach Mike Hopkins for seventh season

The Zags, ranked ninth in the most recent Associated Press poll, are the No. 3 seed in the West Region and will open play at 4:35 p.m. Friday in Denver against 14 seed Grand Canyon (televised on TruTV). But once you start looking ahead in the region, there is ample opportunity for marquee matchups for the Zags.

Like in the Sweet 16, where there could be a rematch of Gonzaga’s epic Final Four win two years ago over UCLA. The Bruins, who are ranked No. 2 in the AP poll but lost the Pac-12 Championship game Saturday 61-59 to No. 8 Arizona, are the second seed in the region.

In the other half of the West Region, No. 3 Kansas is the top seed, with No. 11 UConn the fourth seed and No. 16 Saint Mary’s – who shared the WCC regular season championship with Gonzaga – the fifth seed.

See the full NCAA Tournament bracket

Gonzaga goes into the tournament with a 28-5 overall record and on a nine-game win streak, most recently having blown out Saint Mary’s in the WCC Tournament title game 77-51 on March 7.

This campaign hasn’t seen the same kind of dominance that the Zags have been used to, as they suffered losses early in the season to No. 7 Texas, No. 5 Purdue and No. 10 Baylor, plus defeats in WCC play to Loyola Marymount (which halted Gonzaga’s 75-game home win streak) and Saint Mary’s. Gonzaga’s best non-conference wins came against No. 23 Kentucky, No. 11 Xavier and No. 4 Alabama.

Grand Canyon (24-11) finished fourth in the regular season standings in the WAC but won four straight games last week in the conference tournament – including against Seattle U – to earn the WAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Lopes shoot 38.3% from 3-point land as a team and are paced on offense by guard Rayshon Harrison (17.7 points per game).

Senior forward Drew Timme, who set the Gonzaga school record for most career points last week, leads the Bulldogs with 20.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Julian Strawther, a 6-foot-7 guard, adds 15.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, and the Zags remain plenty deep thanks to players like forward Anton Watson and guards Rasir Bolton, Malachi Smith and Seattle native Nolan Hickman.

Women’s Basketball NCAA Tournament

While the Zags are the lone team from Washington state in the men’s bracket, both Gonzaga and Pac-12 Tournament champion WSU are in the women’s tournament.

WSU (23-10) is a No. 5 seed and will meet 12 seed Florida Gulf Coast next Saturday in Philadelphia.

Gonzaga (28-4) is headed to Stanford, Calif., on Friday as a No. 9 seed to face No. 8 seed Ole Miss (23-8).

Men’s NIT

The WSU men’s basketball team (17-16) will get some postseason action, and the Cougars’ opponent is certainly an interesting one: Eastern Washington (22-10), which will make the one hour, 20 minute drive from Cheney to Pullman’s Beasley Coliseum for an 8 p.m. Tuesday matchup in the first round of the NIT.

Timme sets Gonzaga scoring record, Zags routs Saint Mary’s for WCC title


Gonzaga forward Drew Timme hugs coach Mark Few during the final minutes of a March 25, 2023 game. (...
The Associated Press

Drew Timme ends storied career at Gonzaga with Elite Eight loss

Gonzaga forward Drew Timme, who gained fame for his masterful inside moves and world-class mustache, put together perhaps the finest college career in recent memory.
8 days ago
Gonzaga Drew Timme...
The Associated Press

Gonzaga stumbles, UConn rolls 82-54 to advance to Final Four

Jordan Hawkins scored 20 points and UConn blew past its fourth straight NCAA Tournament opponent with an 82-54 rout of Gonzaga.
8 days ago
The Associated Press

Gonzaga beats UCLA 79-76 in Sweet 16 on Strawther’s late 3-pointer

Julian Strawther hit a 3-pointer with 6 seconds left, lifting Gonzaga to a wild 79-76 win over UCLA Thursday night in the Sweet 16.
10 days ago
Gonzaga Drew Timme Jaime Jaquez Jr....
The Associated Press

Gonzaga-UCLA Preview: Timme, Jaquez to meet one more time

Drew Timme and Jaime Jaquez Jr., two fancy-footworking forwards with fantastic facial hair, will face off one last time as Gonzaga and UCLA meet in the NCAA Tournament again.
10 days ago
Gonzaga Drew Timme...
The Associated Press

Gonzaga moves on to 8th straight Sweet 16 with 84-81 win over TCU

Drew Timme had 28 points and eight rebounds Sunday to help third-seeded Gonzaga make its eighth straight Sweet 16 with a come-from-behind 84-81 win over TCU.
14 days ago
Gonzaga Anton Watson...
The Associated Press

Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s keep WCC front & center in NCAA Tournament

Gonzaga, for the time being, is still in the West Coast Conference. Contrary to what some analytics and biases might suggest, it has done nothing to hold the Zags back.
14 days ago
NCAA Tournament: Gonzaga gets 3 seed in loaded West Region